Croatia ~ Michelle’s 30th Bday celebration!!!

We flew into Split… breathtaking!

We have a couple of days before we set sail…  There are amazing National Parks parks nearby and tons of beautiful beaches so had a REALLY difficult time deciding what we wanted to do.

Disregarding the advice from the locals, we decided to try and find our way to Krka National Park to swim in the waterfalls 🙂  Lots of traveling (they don’t have AC in this country), and language barrier (I speak absolutely NO Croatian), hot as hell, but waterfalls in mind… A few hours later, we arrive at the Park.

They have a nice trail leading you all throughout…

Lots of little rivers and waterfalls and then we can hear in the distance a lot more substantial amount of water

And soon enough, we are swimming within… the water is sooooo clear!

Testing my new waterproof camera to its full potential 🙂

Decided the boat cruise route on the way out.  It was very pretty but we were a little distracted from our new found love for the flavored beers 🙂  SO refreshing!

The next day we decided to see what Extreme Canyoning is all about.  They say no skill is required and no level of fitness is required.  I’m nervous it’s going to be boring, it was anything BUT boring.  It was awesome!!!!

This is from the top of the canyon we are about to mob down 🙂  This was potentially my last smiling photo… ( I did make sure we both had our travel insurance cards handy)

The activities for the day include normal hiking, river floating, cliff jumping, rapelling and jumping from rock to rock down the Cetina River.

The “Extreme” part of it is the repelling bit.  Out of like 10-15 ish people, Heather and I are the only 2 willing 🙂  Our first trek is down the Gubvica waterfall, 200 feet down 🙂

Me waiting at the bottom while Heather mentally prepares herself for the plunge down 🙂

Half-time breather…we are still smiling 🙂

Second repell…this one is only 50 feet.  We had the option of jumping, H and I just laughed at the guy…yeah right!

We are a bit tired but so worth it 🙂  Such a great start to my Bday trip!!!!!

Now headed down the way to Brela, supposed to be an amazing beach.  We read somewhere it is the #7 beach, maybe in the world….  don’t quote me on this.

These purple flowers are all through Croatia, I love them 🙂

Brela beach….

Not overly impressed.

But they do have our new favorite brew, it tastes like Squirt 🙂

And the water is crystal clear!  Which it is everywhere in the Adriatic Sea we will go but we are still very impressed by this!

Back in Split for a proper dinner out 🙂

Fresh fish, local entertainment….amazing!

Fresh veg and fruit everywhere…This particular fruit just happened to catch my eye…very interesting shape….

Its now time to set sail.  We head to the marina to meet our fellows mates for the next 7 days and our home, Franco…43ft yacht (I would call it a sail boat but they say yacht).

I didn’t remember to capture a photo of our living arrangements for the next week.  I tried to prepare Heather as much as possible but needless to say, she was a bit surprised at the small confinement of our ‘bunk beds’.  And no air Conditioning or fans.  All of us took turns sleeping outside under the stars, trying to catch a bit of the breeze 🙂

Bon Voyage…

Settling right in 🙂  We are on board with 3 Aussie couples.  One of which happens to be starting up with our same nursing agency soon…..small world.  Needless to say, we now have 3 nurses on the boat, we should be safe 🙂

Our backyard for the evening, on Sesula.  And the restaurant above.  They took our order a few hours early to minimize our wait time, increase our swimming time, so nice 🙂

Heather with Hugo (our Captain)

It’s my Birthday today!!!!!!!!!!!!!  A rough day at sea at that 😦  Thank goodness for Ondansetron 🙂

Next stop Vis.

Heather and I (and 8 others from a different boat) decide to trek to the other side of the island to check out the Blue Caves.

Vineyards 🙂

2 more boat rides and we will be there. Our skipper on the first trek, Heather likes the uniforms here 😉

Second boat ride…

That is the cave…

And once you get in, the water is seriously glowing bright blue!!!!

It is sooooooo clear!  The guy even let us swim, apparently not many people get the opportunity 🙂

Back “home” we go, we have some partying to do!

Heather came prepared with a few surprises for my birthday 🙂  You know I love flair!!!!

There was a “social” that night for all the MedSailors on our dock before dinner.  This is the Franco boat, our family for a week 🙂  Heather and I were very nervous about who would be on the boat with us and how does the company match up who is with whom.  We were a bit worrisome in the beginning that we were with 3 couples but soooooo thankful that were were all together!  Couldn’t have asked for better mates!  We all got along just great, became the Franco family 🙂

Funny story.  Some of you may know that Heather and I sleep with ‘soothing sounds’.  So the first night, we had on the rain drops.  The next morning Joel mentioned that he couldn’t sleep well because after he got up to use the loo, he heard a massive leak and thought for sure he broke something.  I was trying to think if I heard anything (our rooms are right next to one another), and then it dawned on me, he was hearing our ‘rain’!  We all got a great laugh about it. However, a few night later, we switched our sound to beach waves.  In the morning, Jono was asking Hugo, our Skipper, about the weather because he heard such rough waves but the boat didn’t seem to be moving 🙂  Again, a great laugh!

 

Went for a nice dinner on the water, followed by a few (multiplied by 10) drinks after 🙂  This massive sparkler I am holding happens to be my candle! Thanks Heather 🙂

It’s a long story…but I had to get at 30 tick marks between drinks and kisses (on the cheek).  I’m an over achiever!

Thank goodness the next day was a lazy day in Scedro…

The essentials….

Home. This is how we tied up nightly (8 boats total).  Heather decided to give the paddle board a go 🙂

So then we thought we’d give it a go with both of us….not so easy…

Searching the water with my camera, Heather finds a sea cucumber…

And decides she should go down and get him.  Hahahahah…

The island we are stopped at has a population of 30 people or so.  Not much happening but a family run restaurant.  And they make there own wine…. Jono went to get a bottle before dinner 🙂 Mmmmm, but VERY strong!

Back on the boat after dinner, we go for a swim.  It was way to difficult to catch on camera but basically the water glows green as you are swimming!  I’m not kidding, it was not the amount of wine I drank.  Apparently it’s the phosphorus and when it’s splashed about, it glows!  So all the little bits you can see in this pic were sparkling bright green!  It happened the rest of the trip, very encouraging for night swims 🙂

Hugo would put out a rope so we all just hang on while he drives. An easy way for all of us to freshen up in the am 🙂

Just sailin’…. Life being 30 is great!

A long day at sea and this butterfly landed on Emily’s dress.  It stayed for hours!!!!  That must bring her some sort of good luck or something 🙂

Pulling into our next stop, Palmizana

We decide to head to the other side of the island and check out the beach

Very nice but watch where you step… Urchins everywhere!!!!

Nice little walk back. Lots of interesting and massive plants.  Aloe anyone?

We take a boat over to Hvar.  A few ‘before dinner drinks’ and watch the sunset.

Heather teaching people the cupid shuffle.  There are little girls in the water following along as well 🙂

Sunset!

Stroll through town to dinner…

Strikin a pose

The ‘special’ shot.  I don’t remember what it is called.  Owwww!!!!!

Lots of good times….

Due to noise regulations, Hvar shuts down at 03:00.  So you can take another boat to Party Island. We were all so tired but had to take a chance at the opportunity (I believe we were the only ones that went for it in our entire Med Sailor group). Yeah Franco!!!!

Went for a swim and then went back home.

After a long night, we are all thankful for the easy going next day. Lots of swimming. Thankful for the calm waters today 🙂

Taking time to assess all of our Cankles and Heat rash 😦

We pull into Stari Grad early afternoon.  Very cute and quiet 🙂

We just go for a walk around town (hoping to get a massage-no luck)

Next day, Race Day!!!!!

We all had our assigned jobs…all equally important 🙂

Brett was Captain.

Juls and I on the Jibs

Jono, actively working- pulling in the Jib

Heather in charge of refreshments and entertainment

Emily manning the snacks so they don’t fall over.  (Frisky not pictured, taking her job seriously-watching over “the button”).  We came in third place 😦  But we were racing with a handicap, Franco is the fastest boat.

Stop for lunch in a little cove.  Nice to have a bit of cloud cover today, constant 90s heat and sun is tiring. The boys love playing catch with there ball 😉

The Italian Skipper of another boat.  Enjoying the view 🙂

Pulling into our home for the last night, Bobovisca.

Heather enjoying one of the last showers on the boat 🙂

I can’t ever get enough of our views…

Frisky, aka Heather, would braid hair most nights.  Tonight Hugo thought he’d get in on the action 🙂

Last sunset…

Taking the dingy to dinner…

Our last dinner as a family 😦  So grateful for all of our new friends!

Loving my braid!  My hair has been nothing but a hot mess the entire trip 🙂

We loved all the FRESH seafood the entire time!  But my favorite dinner was tonight, fresh grilled squids!  Mmmmmmm 🙂

Local entertainment on the deck after words 🙂

Last day at sea 😦  So tired.  I can’t be assed to swim!  (Our new favorite phrase, “I can’t be assed” or “I can’t be bothered”.  Common among the Aussies and the Brits.)

Breaking up is hard to do….

Good bye Croatia

Heading to dinner in Split one more time

Always entertainment wherever you go 🙂

This was such a fabulous trip, maybe my favorite yet!  Very difficult to share in the blog, pictures and words just don’t express enough of the unforgettable memories.

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